Book Club How To's

How to properly read a book for discussion: Tips and tricks on how to make the most of your book club.

Book Club How To’s
How to properly read a book for discussion: Tips and tricks on how to make the most of your book club.

Your group has finally picked this month’s book club must-read and you’re dying to dig right in. Whether you are the leader of your group, or simply a participant, reading a book for discussion differs from reading simply for pleasure.  Read our tip and tricks on how to make the most of your book and learn how to properly read a book for discussion.

Imagine yourself as a character in the story. Ask yourself questions on how you would feel if you were the antagonist or protagonist.  Search for meaning on why the characters of your novel are reacting a certain way and what you would do in the same situation. Do you share the same values? Compare them to people in your own life. Think about their strengths and weaknesses. This will help you imagine yourself in the story allowing you to relate yourself to the characters in the book.

Analyze the theme. Is the theme of the novel cut and dry? Or is the meaning hidden? Ask yourself what point the author is trying to get across and how that relates to the overall picture of the book.

Make notes. Don’t be scared to make notes as you read. Jot down your feelings to the characters, the theme, the setting, and how it makes you feel at a certain point. You will surprise yourself when you go back and reread your notes. It may even give you insight into your own life and will certainly save you time when searching for passages later for discussion.

Get to know the landscape. Do the setting and location change according to mood or tone? Is there meaning to a certain locale? Analyze why specific discussions happen in certain settings. It may help you analyze the characters and theme of the book.

Don’t be afraid. Remember that just because a book was chosen – even if you did the picking – doesn’t mean you have to like it. Don’t be afraid to criticize the book however be prepared to justify your answers. What was it that you didn’t like? The characters? The style? The setting? Discuss!

Come prepared. Now that you’ve taken the time to read thoroughly and make notes you should be prepared to not only take part in your book club meeting but lead the discussion. Come prepared with at least 10 questions that you want to ask the other members in your group.